- Plantar fasciitis (inflammation to the plantar fascia ligament) is most commonly caused by a strain injury causing micro tears to the ligament as it attaches to the heel bone (Calcaneus) or other areas of tightness on the sole of the foot. The inflamed tissue runs across the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia ligament forms the arch. By stretching and contracting this ligament, the plantar fascia helps us balance and gives the foot strength for walking.
- Did you know that the plantar fascia is the largest ligament in the human body?
- Symptoms include stabbing pain near the heel or a catching sensation on the bottom of the foot. Pain might be worst in the morning, due to inactivity during sleep where the fascia shortens.
- Although rolling out your feet with a golf/cricket ball or something similar like a frozen water bottle might feel good in the short-term, usually you’ll need to eventually perform some sort of foot, ankle, and hip strengthening exercises to help better distribute the load to other areas of your foot and leg as well as building up the stress tolerance of the plantar fascia so that it can tolerate more load in the future
How to treat it?
These are some exercises to help you do just that!
1) Forward Weight Shift – 2 Leg
2) Forward Weight Shift – 1 Leg
3) Forward Weight Shift – 1 Leg + Kickstand
4) Calf raises
5) Sitting towel scrunches (single or both feet)
Not only do these exercises challenge your balance, but they also challenge the strength of the foot and ankle muscles (including the calves)
How to stop it from reoccurring?
Conditions or activities that may lead to aggravation of plantar fasciitis include: Abnormal inward twisting or rolling of the foot (pronation), high arches, flat feet, tight calf muscles, or tight tendons at the back of the heel (Achilles tendons).
By seeking treatment advice of either a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist they will assess and prescribe evidence-based exercise interventions to increase pain tolerance and stop the reoccurrence of plantar fasciitis.